‘I’ll Not Accept Salary Cut’

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According to Judge Wollor, the bill was in the right direction, because in most African countries,  when judicial officials are retired, they do so with their benefits.

Judge Wollor Tells President Weah

Judge Sikajibo Wollor of Criminal Court ‘D’ at the Temple of Justice is one of several judges that may likely not accept President George Weah’s proposal to reduce salary and other emoluments of public officials that include the judges.

Judge Wollor believes that for the judiciary to be the pillar of democracy, then the Weah led government should ensure that salary and benefits of judges be commensurate with their colleagues in the United States and other parts of the world to justify their independence.

“I will not accept salary and or benefit cut, because I want the government to boast of a vibrant judiciary system,” he declared.

Wollor’s assertion comes in the wake of President Weah’s decision to take a 10 percent salary cut along with his cabinet officials, as part of the government’s pro-poor agenda.

While delivering his charge to judges during the opening of the May, 2018 Term of Criminal Courts, A, B, C D and E, Wollor drew attention to judge’s salaries as compared to that of judges in the US.

He argued that his research of the US legal system showed judges were earning more than the vice president in that country, which he claimed was not the case with Liberia, where judges were among the least paid public officials.

Although, he did not say how much judges are paid in the United States, Wollor is of the opinion that “the highest paid public official in the United States is the president, then the chief justice, followed by the associate justices, then the judges, and the vice president, but it is different in our country.”

The criminal court judge wondered why, it has been repeatedly  claimed that Liberia is a child of the US, “if this is true, why we in Liberia consistently fail to practice the good things that are embedded in that country’s policy.”

He reminded his audience many of whom were judges that the US attaches importance to their judiciary prowess, because of that, the judicial branch is considered as the pillar of their democracy. But that is not the case of Liberia.

Aside from the American system, Judge Wollor said in most African countries, when judges are retired, they are retired with their benefits, thereby asking President Weah to follow same, because Liberian is not an exception.

“Liberia is a part and parcel of the comity of nations,” Wollor said. He recalled that Judge he was fortunate to have visited Malawi in 2008, where he observed and admired the judiciary system so much to the extent that he wished it for Liberia. He noted that while in that country, he recounted a conversation with some judges, “all of them told me that when they are retired, they go with all their benefits. Even judges in other African countries benefit from similarly, but that is not the case with Liberia.”

19 COMMENTS

  1. Judge Wollor is concerned about a few things. One of the things that judge Wollor is concerned about is the proposed pro-poor 10% pay cut concept that Weah sells to the civil servant employees of Liberia. Whether Weah succeeds or not is something to be seen. However, the voices of refusal to accept a 10% pay cut are growing. School teachers, janitors and others whose paychecks have traditionally been at the bottom of the payscale are furious. Interestingly, judge Wollor is not alone.

    There is another way in which judge Wollor’s refusal to accept a pay cut can be analyzed. Judge Wollor cites cases of judges’ pay in America. Wollor argues that judges in the US earn a decent pay because of the work they do. Given this critical mass, one gets the sense that Wollor is not a proponent of Weah’s pro-poor policy. The truth must be told though. Weah’s pro-poor policy is not a killer idea, but it is somehow tricky. It is tricky because the pay cut concept does not specify the pool of people in the work force whose paychecks need to be slashed. Without doubt, some employees, especially members of the Upper and Lower Houses, get a decent paycheck every month. Besides their monthly incomes, the legislators get perks such as government vehicles, free medical and gas slips, good retirement packages, free telephone use and many more. While the blessings of good things are being showered on the Liberian legislators, there are public schools across the country that have no drinking water, toilets, or enough textbooks for the youth. Sure, a 10% pay cut in some areas of the Liberian government shouldn’t be negotiated but understood by the lawmakers. The pro-poor policy will only succeed in terms of a 10% pay cut if some high class officials are targeted. Teachers, cops, janitors and others who have no perks and whose monthly incomes are nickels and dimes, deserve a 10% increment, not a cut.

  2. It is not the prerogative of this imbecile to decide whether or not to accept pay reductions. If the salary and the “under the table” he receives are not enough for him; then let him resign and open up his private law practice. This is austerity, not pro poor or any poor. The country is falling apart and people are being nonchalant. Take it or leave it.

  3. Papay, your argument has no merit. First of all, Liberia is not the US or other Western countries. If for the love of country you cannot accept a 10 percent pay cut then resign from your post and open up your own law firm. If judges in the US had their own law firms, they would be making more money than what they are currently being paid. Legislators in Ghana earn between $3-5,000 a month in salaries, Ang Ghana is richer than Liberia, yet our do nothing legislators earn over $15,000 a month with other benefits. A legislator in Canada earns about $167,000 a year. Canada is richer than Liberia and Liberia begs Canada for aid. But Liberian legislators earn more than their Canadian counterparts. Why? Because our lawmakers are greedy and have love for their country. Why should a Liberian judge and an American judge be paid the same. Are Liberian janitors and their US counterparts paid the same. This judge should be charged with contempt. Lol

  4. Well what goes around comes around. What did the senator-Weah do when he was a senior senator for Montserrado county and a members of the Lower House proposal a salaries reduction for both houses to build roads? Now that he is president with all the benefits, he wants to reduce salaries or cut salaries. There is corruption now with the kind of salaries that these judges and polices are making, just think what will happen when that is reduce. If the president actually want to cut salaries he should just look at where he was last year and to each of his pearls to see how much each person is making and how much reduction they are willing to make in their paycheck, compared to teachers,judges, polices, nurses, and the ordinary Civil servant who do not have free medical and gas slips.

  5. There is another way that pay cuts could go into effect!

    My proposal calls for 60 educated Liberian men and women to run for the Upper and Lower Houses during the next elections.

    Message….
    The message and advertisement of the 60 candidates will be simple and must go like this:
    “Contract with the Liberian electorate! Vote for us. When we win this election, we will accept a 30 per cent deduction in our pay. By doing this, we sincerely believe that more money could be saved. Ladies and gentlemen, our competitors are reluctant to accept a 10% pay cut. But are willing to go beyond the call of duty. We will honor our obligation. So vote for us. Let’s change Liberia for good.”

    I understand that the above article identifies judge Wollor as a person who’s unwilling to accept a pay cut. But, there are others, such as the legislators of Liberia who avoid the topic of a pay cut. Let’s assume that a Liberian legislator earns at least $30,000 per year. What will his or her monthly gross earning be?

    Let’s do the math:
    If a Liberian legislator earns $30,000 a year, the legislator’s monthly gross income will be $2,500, because $30,000 ÷12 = $2,500. To be frank, an income of $2,500 US dollars is not bad for a legislator. Because, in addition to monthly incomes, there are perks that they enjoy or receive. There’s no one else in Liberia who comes to a legislators’ perks.

    Distance:
    For what reason are the legislators refusing to take a 10% pay cut? Is it because of the distance that some of them travel in order to get to Monrovia?
    The issue of distance must be ruled out immediately. First and foremost, the legislators are provided with free automobiles, free gas and other perks. Secondly, the Liberian legislators are profligates! If they could employ the 6th sense, otherwise known as the “common sense”, roads would be covered with asphalt. If the roads are covered with asphalt, there would be no reason to worry about travel. Sadly, because of greed and selfishness and (maybe stupidity) the Liberian legislators are unwilling to take a pay cut. Without a pay cut, how do the legislators expect roads to be properly cared for? Have the legislators ever wondered why teachers, cops and others cannot get a pay increase? Public school students do not have their full set of textbooks. So the question is this; What do the legislators accomplish or why were they elected in the first place? To satisfy their self-centeredness?

    What’s really going on in the mind of a Liberian legislator as well as the judge or judges who are adamantly opposed to a 10% pay cut?
    Let’s vote them out.

  6. He is not fit to be a judge. Why Ellen appointed these unfit corrupt judges is anybodys guess. Dispite their high salaries what improvement have we seen in the courts?

  7. Judge Sikajibo Wollor, you are making a serious mistake in your profession. Why will you compare the pay scale and benefits of the United States Government to that of a poor West African Country? You are a selfish judge and only care about what goes into your pocket not considering the rest of Liberians, because you are preaching what you should have as benefits when you retire. Can you compare United States, Canada and Rwanda judges pay scale with Liberia? Look Mr. Judge, you don’t have to be a judge if you are not satisfy with the pro poor policy agenda. Resign and open your law firm. This government took over with empty coffers instead of helping to rebuild what the old administration destroyed, you are there making statement that has the propensity to insight judges in Liberia. Sorry judge Wollor, you either take the 10% salary cut or we will instead cut your services off from the government.

  8. Judge Wollor, it is your constitutional right to not accept a salary cut or its proposal…..But it is not a constitutional right that you remain a judge. It becomes even more tricky and dicey when you are a judge in a country where the President has imperial power/s…..
    So you better pick your poison and quit acting all uppity…

  9. Just resign and leave the office.

    your comments are worthless. How can you compare Liberia to: Malawi, USA etc… are u kidding me?

  10. Maybe the Judge has responsibilities in the US that he has to meet. Mortgage, maybe? No reason to be paid like judges in the US. The spending power of US dollars in both countries are not on the same scale. Come to the US and work if you want more money. Liberia needs people who can give back.

  11. The U.S annual budget is 4 trillion dollars, that’s, 4,000,000,000,000,000, with 300 hundred million plus citizens, Liberia annual budget is 5 hundred million. Why should salary be comparable to that of one of the wealthiest country in the world, America does not spend 65% of its budget on salary. 33% is for social security and unemployment, 27% is for health and meedicare, that’s approximately 60% on just social services and health. We are a struggling country, barely making any money, our poverty level is incomparable to America but when it comes to the salaries of the judges it should be similar? Ok got it.

  12. This Judge has no love for Liberia. HE IS GREEDY,UNPATRIOTIC. He should be removed from the bench by the Chief Justice.
    Can he compare $150.00 a month be daily Liberian with his salary? SHAME ON HIM.

  13. It is incredulous to say the least that judge Wollor meant to say the things he said.
    First, judge Wollor refuses to take a pay cut because he claims that the take home pay of judges in Liberia is not comparable to those of his US counterparts.

    Secondly, judge Wollor argues that in some parts of Africa, the judicial systems of African countries (except Liberia) reward their judges with lifelong benefits.

    The judge’s refusal to accept a pay cut because of the fact that judges don’t earn as much as judges in the US is somehow ambivalent. First of all, there are many kinds of judges. Also, all judges who perform their duties in America do not earn the same amount of money. Some judges earn more and some earn less. Some judges teach at law schools in order to make a little bit more money.

    As matters relate to judges in some parts of Africa (such as Malawi) who are offered lifelong benefits, judge Wollor’s argument exposes him to more ambiguity.

    After all, judge Wollor is probably right about the fact that some or all judges who practice in their respective countries in Africa, except Liberia, are rewarded with incentives because of what they do. And that’s exactly what judge Wollor is telling us. Well said judge Wollor. But, the nagging question remains. Will judge Wollor accept a 10% pay cut if he and his Liberian counterparts are offered lifelong benefits?

    I hate to play the devil’s advocate for the judge. But I will try.
    Maybe judge Wollor is calling for an increment in Judges’ pay in Liberia. Maybe, judge Wollor does not mean to suggest that the incomes of judges in Liberia should be on a par with their American counterparts. Finally, maybe as an advocate for all Liberian judges, if lifelong benefits are given to Liberian judges, judge Wollor and his Liberian counterparts will agree to a 10% pay cut.

    Now, I hope I understood judge Wollor’s line of thought.

  14. Why is liberians always comparing things with that of the United States? Liberia is a small poor Africa country located in the western part of Africa and without the help of other countries including United States Liberia will not make it. It wil make sense for Liberia to compare herself with that of Sierra Leone, ivory coast and other nearby Africa countries.

  15. What is the judge’s tenure? How long is he sitting for, according to the law?

    Take a pay cut or be removed, sir!

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